Buying Organic Food for Less: How to Save Money on Organic Fruits, Vegetables and More
Buying organic food is the right choice – it’s healthier, it tastes better, and it’s better for the environment. Although the production costs of growing and transporting organic foods sometimes means that it’s more expensive at the grocery store than conventional food, it is BETTER for your health in the long-term. Think about it: doesn’t it make more sense to spend NOW and save yourself years of doctor’s bills then it is to keep a couple extra bucks to yourself and suffering the consequences LATER?
Nonetheless, who doesn’t like to save some money? To help you pinch a few pennies, here are some ways you can SAVE (in the short-term AND long-term!) when you buy organic food:
Buy your most important purchases first. If you’re looking to try a new organic recipe this week, make a list of items you’ll need. You can try organic blueberries another time if you absolutely need organic bell peppers for a new dish.
Remember that thin-skinned fruits and vegetables are the MOST susceptible to pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, and so on. If you have to limit your purchases, be sure to buy the following foods ORGANIC: apples, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, pears, lettuce, peppers, and spinach.
Buy your fruits and vegetables in season when they’re both freshest and in plenty supply. For example, spring is a great time to buy asparagus, zucchini, and strawberries (did you know May is National Strawberry Month?) -Shop at farmer’s markets and independent grocery stores, or join a food co-op. These places often offer a wider variety of organic foods, including fresher fruits and vegetables. Some food co-ops may require a membership fee or ask you to volunteer at the co-op for a few hours per month, but members usually get a discount when they shop. Use Organic Liaison’s Organic Network Locator to find grocery stores and farmer’s markets selling organic food nearest you.
If you’re a meat-eater, eating organic meats is definitely better than eating meat that comes from factory farms, where animals have been fed nutritionally-empty grains and kept in tight spaces until they’re slaughtered. Since meat is often more expensive, try choosing one kind of meat (beef, chicken, lamb) and experimenting in the kitchen. Use your “meat of the week” as the centerpiece around which you create your meals, such as chicken pasta one night, followed by chicken tacos the next.
Buy in bulk whenever possible. You can always freeze leftover portions you don’t use for next week.
Search for coupons from organic food companies like Organic Valley, Amy’s, Stonyfield Farm, Health Valley, and more. What are your tips for saving money on buying organic food? Share with us in the comments!
Photo: alancleaver_2000′s Flickr photostream/Creative Commons
*Featured article from the Organic Liaison Blog
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